Adderall is a brand name for the combination of drugs amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The drug is commonly prescribed by doctors to treat ADHD or narcolepsy. Adderall causes a change in the chemicals found in the human brain, such as an increase in dopamine and norepinephrine. This leads to the ability to better focus and pay attention to the tasks in front of you.
Almost 50 million prescription stimulants such as Adderall were prescribed in 2011 to treat ADHD. Adderall is an incredibly common drug that is very helpful to many when being used how prescribed by medical professionals. However, due to its common nature, it is also widely abused, especially among young people. If someone takes Adderall when not treating conditions such as ADHD or narcolepsy, the results can be dangerous.
History of Adderall
The history of Adderall is fairly short compared to many other commonly abused substances. Introduced in 1996, Adderall was immediately marketed towards the treatment of attention deficit disorder, or ADD, for young children. The initial product was a quick tablet but in 2001 a slow-release capsule became available on the market.
The slow-release capsule immediately became popular to abuse among college-aged young people. The slow-release capsule, called Adderall XR, allowed people not suffering from ADD or ADHD to stay up for long periods of time. Feeling no need to sleep and an increased ability to focus made Adderall popular for college students staying up to study or finish homework.
Night-shift workers also used it to better stay awake during their shift. While Adderall abuse is less commonly worried about, mainly because there is a sense those who abuse Adderall are trying to accomplish something “productive”, it is an addictive drug that can cause serious health issues. Adderall is now considered to be a Schedule II drug by the United States government, meaning while there are approved medical uses it is also considered to be at high risk for addiction and abuse.